Thursday, April 28, 2011

wedding fever!

No, I am not getting married again.  But I AM getting a little excited for the wedding tomorrow.  And don't say what wedding - you know.

Have you got your wedding kit ready?


In honour of the event, I thought it would be nice to quickly look back in time to other royal weddings.  Gosh, can they make their mark in history.

Princess Grace of Monaco, the elegant Hollywood actress that showed us that fairy tales could come true, wore a beautiful modest gown given to her by MGM Studios (no joke - they did that for their stars back then).  High-necked, long-sleeved, with fitted torso and twenty-five yards of silk taffeta skirt, as well as one hundred yards of silk net, peau de soie, tulle and 125-year-old Brussels rose point lace. Oh, and a veil of 90 yards of tulle.  !!

I am really hoping that Kate's dress is modest, and that it sets some trends.

Dianan and all her bridesmaids also wore a lot of fabric.  I think those days are gone.  Imagine going to the loo in that dress!

I must say, I think it convenient that the broadcast of the event starts once I get home from work tomorrow.  Thank you mother England.

Here is a quick preview for you, to get you in the mood:

a steal of love


no, i haven't forgotten about you.  i'm just busy.

but, i gotta shout out some love to my hubby.  he's a sweet man.  he not only warmed the bed for me with heated wheat packs the other night (there's a long dangerous story about amputating his leg in there), but he watched How To Steal A Million with me on the weekend.


It's a cute movie, one of my many Audrey  flicks.

This made me very happy.

He watched To Catch A Thief a while back, too.
I now need to get my hands on a copy of North By Northwest
All you Hitchcock fans know what I'm talking about.

Should I cut my hair like this?
Gosh she's lovely.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"intellegent women who want more .. and love men"

The title of this blog is a quote from Paper Giants : the Birth of Cleo.  It pretty much describes the aim of 'Cleo', a hit Australian magazine.  As someone who cannot justify spending your average 10-15 bucks on a glossy magazine filled with images and content I can find online, even I recognise the mag.
But I had no idea of its beginnings.

I know the lady Ita Buttrose to be a well dressed, elegant writer and commentator, occasionally on tv talk shows and ads for osteoporosis and starving children.  And of course I know of the the rich and influential Packer clan, controlling the non-Murdoch half of the media.  But I had no idea they were entangled in the beginnings of Cleo.  Or that they worked together, making a name for themselves during the dramatic downfall of the Whitlam government.

Set against that backdrop and the dying days of Sir Packer, the ABC recently aired a colourful two-part biopic, telling us of the tale of these ambitious folk, working hard to fulfill their destinies in the print world, encouraging Australian women to feel worth more in a mans world, all during the political ups and downs of the seventies.

Enter 30 year old Ita Buttrose - journalist and editor, and 35 year old heir-to-be Kerry Packer.  It's early 1972.  And in the midst of the ruthless and powerful publishing family business, the pair team up to put together a great women's magazine, 'Cosmopolitan', only to have the plug pulled at the last minute when the rights go to Fairfax.  So, to show they will not be beaten, they team up to create a better women's magazine, and publish it six months before theirs.

A team was assembled, 'Cleopatra' was brainstormed, and the pair then followed their gut instincts, opposing the market research that the project would majorly flop.  Good thing Sir Packer didn't catch sight of those reports!!

The magazine became the most sensational mag of its time.  So fun, so naughty!  More importantly, I appreciated its history and how it helped define women in its time .. at least helping them have a voice, giving them the courage to ask questions, reach out for what they want, and to not be defined as a wife or housewife.  A new confidence in entrenched patriarchy.

Their first issue featured a nude centrefold.  Shock!  And it was none other than Jack Thompson.  Jack, I had no idea you had it in you back then!  See a Daily Telegraph opinion article about the success of that sensational idea!  And later, Dame Edna.  Hehee .. loved it.

The program was great.  I liked the depiction of the Sir Frank Packer (or "God" to his employees) and Kerry Packer.  As someone who has grown up knowing the family and its empire, I enjoyed watching their approach to business behind closed doors, at least according to the screenwriters.

Wouldn't you just like getting this from Sir Packer?

A highlight was the fashion.  Seriously, the fashion of the seventies just shone!! I guarantee this will start resurrect a few trends.  Every scene brought out a new trench, wrap dress, accessories, and big sunnies.

Seriously.  It's a must-have wardrobe.  Will we be seeing a revival of 70's retro now?  Please people, do it with class.  Nice bold prints and feminine outfits that work together.  No bad taste.
And we are already seeing a start of a revival elsewhere - Zimmermann shop winders have been spotted showing off high-waisted pants as part of a classic 70's outfit.  And Diane von Furstenberg (yum!! - not her; her designs) has put bold trench coats on recent runways.

Without giving too much away ... this is a quick summary of my thoughts and reactions throughout the program:

Oh, this is gonna be great.
Look at that footage.  That's Whitlam.  His voice sounds like an ABC news presenter.
I wonder if this was done by the same people that did Hawke.  I really enjoyed that movie.
Wow she's got that lisp exactly right! Ooh, and I like what she's wearing.
Oh, and I like that dress.
Whoa.  Was that what Sir Packer was really like?
That's a great outfit!
He just threw the phone!!
Gosh that's a cute dress.
Naw, she's a mum!  You go girl!!

What?? He's leaving????  Rude.
Mmm .. nice dress.  Again.
She is such a power figure for women.  She does it all!!
He's married?!  Pig.
Oooh.  Cute hair clips.  Should I cut my hair?
That poor secretary - what's wrong with friands?
I like those accessories.
Not sure about that dude's hairstyle.
Or that dude's.
Woah.  The door is almost of the hinges.  Packer tantrum!!
Nice sunnies.  And she catches the bus!!  I like her.
Ahh Malcolm Fraser.  Packer saw that coming.  I wonder if they were bias in their political coverage ..
Gosh I want her wardrobe!!

And guess what .. the airing of the two-part series became the highest-rating program on the ABC1 (1.2 million and 1.34 million tuned in on Sunday and Monday nights respectively) that it will be aired again.  Alas, the ABC is not paying me for this plug, or even acknowledging me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the biopic.

So .. tune in this Easter Sunday on ABC2.
[warning: occasional offensive language and mild sex scenes]

I wouldn't mind Asher Keddie winning gold at the Logies for this .. it would be well deserved.

home sweet somebody-elses-home

After a long and tiring journey to building that Christ-like quality called patience, I finally found it.   Our first home
It's quite modest and cosy, considering our small needs and little belongings.
[see real estate details here]

What do you think?

Recognise it?  It's the b. e. a. utiful home I admired all through the movie Marley & Me.  And it is now, conveniently, for sale.  Anyone got a handy 1.45 million?

This is where I will take my daily meditative walks.  Possibly in 1800's dress.  Including a bonnet. 
The home is situated on a large property in Pennsylvania.  Just under 700,000 square feet of land, all for me to walk around, and think about life.  Yes, we're moving to the US of A.  

Built in 1830 from native stone, this home is so right for me.

 Here I will teach my twelve children how to play piano.  I will live to the sound of scales.

And bake plenty of wholesome bread, of course.  They have two ovens in this place!  I want a healthy family, filled with fibre and .. is that complimentary wine?

Mmm.  I love white bathrooms, with a touch of classiness.  Chandelier with your bath, anyone?  This is one of the 3 1/2 bathrooms.  I don't fully understand how you can have three and a half bathrooms, but there ya go.

We may keep pigs too.  We may bring Charlotte's Web to life.  Anything is possible, living here.

Good thing my parents are visiting us this long weekend.  I will ask them for the loan, and tell them they will be welcome anytime.

Truthfully - I love the exterior of the house.  I really did fall in love with it in Marley & Me, but these images haven't really lived up to my expectations.  So I guess what I'm saying is .. I'd like to buy the movie set instead?

Friday, April 15, 2011

giveaway plug

Make it and Love it - a site I regularly follow - has been posting knitting tutorials lately.  Something that I used to know how to do, but haven't even thought about since school.  Now they are having a giveaway .. will this be the kick start I need to get back into it?

Probably not.  lol
But I'd like the book, all the same.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Brethren

Okay, so I know I said I would post reviews of books I've been reading lately.  Like the Millennium series and The Book Thief.  But gosh, have I read heaps since then!
It's like I am trying to catch up from the past 10 years of textbook only reading.

Just this afternoon I finished reading The Brethren, a great page turner from the pen of John Grisham.  I have read the majority of Grisham books, and seen the few movies made from his books.  All time favs include The Pelican Brief, The Partner, and Runaway Jury.  Oh, and Tom Cruise in The Firm - great soundtrack.

'The Brethren' is what inmates of a very minimum security prison call three of their fellow inmates.  They are three ex-judges.  They all have long sentences.  And to help maintain some sense of order in the prison, but more likely to keep some status in the facility, they form an unofficial court system in the prison.  They sort out the petty arguments and 'claims' of other inmates.  He peed on my roses, so I claim compensation.  He stole my mail, uses it to gang up on me, I want justice.  That sort of thing.

At the same time .. there is another story line.  A presidential election campaign, and how the CIA strangely get involved and help .. buy? the election.  Very interesting stuff.  And of course, the two story lines come together.  The three ex-judges, getting bored and thinking of life outside, start a scam of some sort.  I won't give details, but the scam is clever, and it is what brings them and the presidential campaign together.

Grisham, as you no doubt know, is a great writer.  His work is usually based on legal scandals, law cases, or crooks in the legal business.  He sometimes weaves political intrigue into the plot .. always with enough detail to keep readers hooked on the adrenalin and intrigue.  It is easy to understand the legality/politics in play.
And I think they are quite believable, for the most part.

Mind you, I'm not up to speed on what the FBI/CIA can and cannot do.


Happy reading, peoples. Any Grisham book is highly recommended.

Hmm ... what's next ...
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